Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death among critically ill patients from the Intensive Care Units (ICU). After primary traumatic injuries, secondary complications occur, which are responsible for the progressive degradation of the clinical status in this type of patients. These include severe inflammation, biochemical and physiological imbalances and disruption of the cellular functionality. The redox cellular potential is determined by the oxidant/antioxidant ratio. Redox potential is disturbed in case of TBI leading to oxidative stress (OS). A series of agression factors that accumulate after primary traumatic injuries lead to secondary lesions represented by brain ischemia and hypoxia, inflammatory and metabolic factors, coagulopathy, microvascular damage, neurotransmitter accumulation, blood-brain barrier disruption, excitotoxic damage, blood-spinal cord barrier damage, and mitochondrial dysfunctions. A cascade of pathophysiological events lead to accelerated production of free radicals (FR) that further sustain the OS. To minimize the OS and restore normal oxidant/antioxidant ratio, a series of antioxidant substances is recommended to be administrated (vitamin C, vitamin E, resveratrol, N-acetylcysteine). In this paper we present the biochemical and pathophysiological mechanism of action of FR in patients with TBI and the antioxidant therapy available.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world and in the future is expected to be the number one killer worldwide. The main cause underlying CVD is atherosclerosis. A key event in atherosclerosis initiation and progression is oxidative stress through the production of reactive oxygen species as well as endothelial dysfunction. Several pro- inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and proteins are involved in this process, complemented by activation of adhesion molecules that promote leukocyte rolling, tethering and infiltration into the sub-endothelial space. Statins represent the agent of choice since numerous clinical trials have verified that their pharmacological action extends beyond lipid lowering. Statins demonstrate direct anti-oxidant effects by scavenging free radicals and stimulating anti-oxidant enzymes while acting as regulators for cytokine, protein and adhesion molecule expression, all of which are involved in the atherosclerotic process. Statin use is considered one of the most efficient currently used interventions in managing CVD with the likely hood of remaining so in the near future.